Some sad, if not terribly shocking, news out of Minnesota today: The Associated Press reports that local law enforcement has confirmed that Prince’s death at the age of 57 back in April was the result of an opioid overdose. Rumors to this effect have been going around ever since the singer’s body was autopsied in late April, with anonymous sources reporting that the emergency stop Prince’s private plane made the week before his death was also related to a drug overdose.
In his later years, Prince became a devout Jehovah’s Witness, and was known for eschewing drugs and alcohol. However, he also suffered from hip and knee pain, which may have led to problems with prescription painkillers. (According to Sheila E., Prince’s injuries were the result of many years of performing—and, specifically, jumping off of risers and speakers—in high heels.) Tragically, Prince’s representatives had contacted an addiction specialist, Dr. Howard Kornfeld, the day before his death; Kornfeld immediately sent his son Andrew to Paisley Park to meet with the singer, and Andrew was among the people who found Prince unresponsive the next morning.
The Carver County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration are currently performing a joint investigation, and have reportedly questioned two doctors in connection to Prince’s death.